Raiders news: Johnathan Hankins returns

The defensive tackle position for the Las Vegas Raiders is changing dramatically in 2022, but there will be a familiar face in the group. The Raiders would bring back defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Hankins’ return is no surprise since he previously played under new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Graham was the New York Giants‘ defensive line coach in 2016. Graham complemented Hankins during a recent chat with the media.

Hankins has been a big part of the Raiders’ defensive front since 2018. He’s started all but five games in four seasons with the Raiders. He has started 14 games in 2021. Hankins is strong against the run.

The Raiders have brought in defensive tackles Bilal Nichols, Vernon Butler and Kyle Peko this offseason. Nichols and Hankins will likely be at the top of the rotation. Defensive tackles Quinton Jefferson (Seattle) and Solomon Thomas (Jets) left for free agency and Darius Philon likely won’t be back either.

Hankins is the third unrestricted free agent to return to the Raiders and is the 24th new veteran to join the roster since the start of free agency. The other two are tackles Brandon Parker and Jermaine Eluemunor.

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